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Club Leon vs. Club America: Final score 2-0, hosts in good shape heading to Azteca

America had plenty of chances to snag a goal in Leon, but was poor in front of the net and will face an uphill battle in the home leg of the Liga MX Apertura Liguilla final.

Hannah Johnston

Club Leon are heading to Estadio Azteca with a big lead in the Liga MX final, but for much of the second half, it didn't look like they'd have any kind of advantage. America was dominant for the first 30 minutes of the second half after an excellent first half from Leon, but failed to convert their chances. Mauro Boselli managed to double his team's lead against the run of play 15 minutes from time, and Leon have a 2-0 lead going into Sunday's second leg.

The hosts were all over America early and needed just 11 minutes to score their opening goal. Moises Muñoz made an impressive early save on Hernan Burbano in the 4th minute, but America could only hold out until Carlos Peña connected with a blast shortly afterwards. He pounced on a poor touch by Juan Medina in midfield and scored with his second touch, a 20-yard blast past Muñoz to put Leon ahead.

Leon continued to control possession and create all of the first half's best chances, even hitting the crossbar on one occasion in the 39th minute, but failed to extend their lead.

America didn't make any substitutions or apparent significant tactical adjustments at halftime, but came out looking much more dangerous going forward. Osvaldo Martinez had a shot barely parried away by William Yarborough in the 52nd minute, but his opportunity was a half-chance compared to those squandered later in the half. Luis Gabriel Rey, in particular, had a couple of chances from inside the six-yard box that were saved or blocked off the line.

Eventually, America were made to pay for their lack of finishing prowess by Boselli, who doubled Leon's lead in the 76th minute. On a Leon counter, an attempted pass from one of Boselli's teammates in midfield hit off an America defender and dribbled into his path, running away from Muñoz. Instead of holding up the ball and looking for a pass, Boselli tried an early chip and beat Muñoz with an impressive finish.

Leon nearly added a third in stoppage time when a Rafael Marquez header hit off the back of an America defender and headed towards goal, but it bounced off the top of the crossbar.

While Leon will be pleased to have denied America a goal in the first leg, any two-goal victory in regulation on Sunday will keep America alive. While away goals factored into the quarterfinals and semifinals, the away goals rule is not applied in the Liga MX final.

Leon: Yarborough, Hernandez, Marquez, Magallon, Ibarra, Vazquez, Burbano (Loboa 56'), Peña (Moran 87'), Montes (Arizala 75'), Britos, Boselli

Goals: Peña (11'), Boselli (76')

America: Muñoz, Maza, Mosquera, Valenzuela (Bermudez 86'), Layun, Sambueza, Molina, Martinez (Mendoza 76'), Aguilar, Jimenez, Rey (Mina 80')

Goals: None